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by Ali Smith

  • ISBN: 0141035013
  • Category: Fiction
  • Author: Ali Smith
  • Subcategory: Contemporary
  • Other formats: doc mobi lrf txt
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Anchor / Random House; Reprint edition (2007)
  • Pages: 320 pages
  • FB2 size: 1586 kb
  • EPUB size: 1124 kb
  • Rating: 4.4
  • Votes: 627
Download Accidental fb2

Ali Smith: The Accidental. Acclaim for Ali Smith’s: The Accidental.

Ali Smith: The Accidental.

FREE shipping on qualifying offers. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required. Filled with Ali Smith's trademark wordplay and inventive storytelling, here is the dizzyingly entertaining.

Home Ali Smith The Accidental. The house-owners are bemused. They shake and scratch their heads. But then the books climb down by themselves from the shelves. They jump on to the windowsill. They throw themselves out of the window.

Ali Smith was born in 1962 in Inverness. She is a Scottish writer. She studied at the University of Aberdeen and then at Newnham College, Cambridge, for a PhD.

Astrid's mother, Eve, is supposed to be writing the next in her series of "Genuine Articles", books that relate the lives of people who died in the second world war, but then carry on as though they had lived - which enables Smith to make some nice jokes at the expense of the biography industry. Ali Smith was born in 1962 in Inverness.

The Accidental is a 2005 novel by Scottish author Ali Smith. It follows a middle-class English family who are visited by an uninvited guest, Amber, while they are on holiday in a small village in Norfolk. Amber's arrival has a profound effect on all the family members. Eventually she is cast out the house by the mother, Eve. But the consequences of her appearance continue even after the family has returned home to London.

Steven Poole applauds Ali Smith's outstanding portrayal of a 12-year-old girl in The Accidental. Ali Smith pulls it off with terrific verve in this novel, which is a skilful exercise in free indirect style: the characters are not first-person narrators, but lovingly distinguished third-person points of view.

Title: The Accidental. Hamish Hamilton Ltd. Book: GOOD. See all. About this item. Postage, Returns & Payments. Best-selling in Fiction.

The Accidental – Ebook written by Ali Smith. Read this book using Google Play Books app on your PC, android, iOS devices. Download for offline reading, highlight, bookmark or take notes while you read The Accidental. Filled with Ali Smith's trademark wordplay and inventive storytelling, here is the dizzyingly entertaining, wickedly humorous story of a mysterious stranger whose sudden appearance during a family’s summer holiday transforms four variously unhappy people.

The Accidental is Ali Smith's dazzling novel about a family holiday and a stranger who upends it. Arresting and wonderful, The Accidental pans in on the Norfolk holiday home of the Smart family one hot summer. There a beguiling stranger called Amber appears at the door bearing all sorts of unexpected gifts, trampling over family boundaries and sending each of the Smarts scurrying from the dark into the light. A novel about the ways that seemingly chance encounters irrevocably transform our understanding of ourselves, The Accidental explores the nature of truth, the role of fate and the power of storytelling. 'A beguiling page-turner. . . a brilliant creation. To read The Accidental is to be excited from first to last' Independent 'Joyous, a shot across the bows. . . writing as rapture, as giddy delight' The Times 'Brilliant and engaging, frequently hilarious. . . Smith makes one look at the world afresh' Sunday Telegraph
Reviews about Accidental (7):
Ali Smith is a very unique and creative author who demands patience and forbearance from the reader while the themes of her novels eventually emerge. The wait is well worth it however. Once you assimilate the ambience of her writing style, the result can be almost a magical transportation into her virtual world. Having read "How To Be Both" and "Artful" rapturously, I was hoping to be similarly captivated if not mesmerized by "The Accidental" as well. Alas, not to be. I found this book terribly disappointing on two levels. Although the character development is skillfully rendered, the plot is non-existent and the story ends up falling on its face by the end. Although the mysterious Amber seems to promise transformation and rebirth for the 4 main characters constituting the Smart family, none actually occurs except for Magnus' all too sudden and not believable emergence from his guilt-ridden autism. Everyone else ends up just as aimless and disagreeable, if not more so, than when they started.

Secondly, Smith's wordplay is too cute and clever by half. It's as if she's trying to impress a creative writing professor with her overflowing originality. After awhile, it intrudes unpleasantly into the story. Her writing needed a more mature hand to guide it in this work.

I notice that "The Accidental" was nominated for several literary prizes including the Booker. I can only conclude that the literary establishment has taken complete leave of its senses to make such a recommendation. Smith is more than capable of writing prize worthy literature (and has done) and I look forward to finding further examples as I read more of her oeuvre. "The Accidental", however, does not qualify as her finest achievement.
The stream-of-consciousness works very well in this book and the unique and sometimes startling writing style is impressive. I read this for a creative writing seminar and I'm looking forward to finding out what others in my class make of it.

While I enjoyed the writing and at times became deeply involved in the story I found it didn't sustain my interest right to the end. Astrid and Magnus are the most fully realised characters in the book, and Magnus' pain over his role in a cyber-bullying incident that led to a girl's suicide is heart wrenching. The adults are less successful and it was hard to get over the implausibility that they would allow a complete stranger into their lives, giving her free access to their children, or that Eve would care so little about her husband's philandering ways. I know Michael's interest in clichés is supposed to be ironic considering he is one big cliché, but I never connected with his character.

Amber is an enigma, both angel and devil who shows them things about themselves, empowers them to be more honest and assertive, while manipulating them for her own purposes. This book is meant to say something deep about modern culture, but by the end of it I had absolutely no idea what this was. I was left feeling confused, especially by Eve's decision to follow in Amber's footsteps in America by getting herself invited into the home of strangers on false pretences - was it to shake the horrible woman up the way Amber had (literally) shaken her up? So to sum up the writing is great, but the storyline is a bit meh for me. Hopefully I'll gain some more insight into this book through my class discussion.
It's no secret that writers, especially the literary kind, are known for wearing their works like masks, slipping their hands puppet-like into characters and mugging for their audience: they may not be as smart, attractive, or popular as their characters, but the authors certainly share the same opinions.

In "The Accidental," it's not hard to figure out who author Ali Smith wants to be (or is). She's Amber, a sort of stochastic herbal essence, an earth-flavored, barefoot, dandelion wine of a woman who flounces in a figurative free-fall into the core of the book, twirls about with mad abandon and reckless sexiness, and disappears with just as much speed and consequence. She puts dirty thighs on Heisneberg's uncertainty principle and drops the drawers of chaos theory, manhandling the nuts and bolts inside.

Okay, I'm sorry, I'll be less poetic, even I think Smith herself would appreciate such an out-of-the-lines description. Smith's writing is equally unfettered, and for people who like the idea of meandering through prose the way you might meander through a lovely (and creepy) forest, "The Accidental" is something to cuddle up to. The whole novel reads like one long word game, and even if that means the seriousness of its import is sometimes smeared aside, it also means that for people who love the English language, well, there's plenty here to enjoy.

But that import. Let me not forget the import.

The story is about the family Smarts. Eve is a struggling writer, Michael is an oversexed professor, Magnus is a tortured teen with a secret, and Astrid is a identity-challenged female (one of those thirteen-year-old daughters that cannot accurately be called either girl, woman, or even young lady). Their problems aren't particularly astounding or new, and in many cases, it's hard to sympathize with them, since their troubles are self-brewed and administered (or, in the case of Astrid, normal enough to be boring).

Amber doesn't sympathize with them either. She appears one day at their summer cottage and their lives begin to change. She manipulates and motivates them in the same way any good author drives and directs her characters. The only difference here is that the characters are aware of the manipulation. Step aside, Priandello. Smith's gonna show you a thing or two.

It works in fits and starts (much in the same way that the metaphorical character names are simultaneously profound and heavy-handed), depending on who you sympathize with. I found myself most closely drawn to the adolescent Astrid, but only because her pre-teen angsts were so accurately set up and then so cleanly knocked down. Magnus's shackles of misery and his subsequent liberation I found clever but overdrawn. Eve's self-doubts and dramatics were powerfully done, but ultimately watered down. And Michael, well, the man may well have not existed in the book. As an English professor, some of his sections manage to have the most interesting writing and yet still say the least out of anyone's. Perhaps that's the point.

The book shows us the same things in four different ways, and it's entertaining in the way of jugglers and Rubik's Cubes. It's ultimately the point of the novel that gets in the way, its drive to be something serious. Eve's section ends with a sort-of back-loop to what started the novel, and it's far too cute for the book's own good. She tries to learn and emulate Amber, the novel's catalyst, and although Smith suggests it leads to redemption, I have my doubts.

Because, although Amber is certainly an intriguing character, she is ultimately a marionette with about four strings too many. The book is occasionally punctuated with brief Amber vignettes; related primarily to movies, they are supposed to give us a glimpse into Amber's genesis and upbringing in a world of celluloid and Act 3 miracles, to show us where her free-spirited anarchy found its first birth, and to explain -- in some small measure -- why (or how) this strange woman alters the lives along her seemingly uncharted path. It's Smith's way of bear-hugging the character, of petting her fondly by the fire of her soul.

It's a little patronizing, but it's also understandable. Amber is any author's dream -- something mysterious and sexy, a controlled explosion. Smith wants to use her to teach us something, and even if I didn't feel particularly educated after her exposure (can you guess if the Smarts get smarter?), I did enjoy myself. That part probably wasn't an accident.

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